New A+ Slot for Q+A

TVNZ 1’s Sunday morning current affairs hour Q+A is switching to a primetime slot.

From July 29, it will air 9.30pm Sundays instead of 9am.

TVNZ says the promotion will increase the Corin Dann-fronted programme’s viewership while reinforcing the NZ flavour of TVNZ 1’s Sunday night line-up, which includes Hyundai Country Calendar, newsmag Sunday and, most recently, Coast NZ.

Despite fierce competition from Dancing With the Stars, Survivor NZ: Thailand and blockbuster movies, these series have proved remarkably resilient in the ratings.

The surprise Q+A move coincides with TVNZ appointing Benedict Collins and Maiki Sherman to its press gallery. Sherman, who reports for TVNZ 1’s Seven Sharp, will join political editor Jessica Mutch in June and Collins will quit RNZ’s political team to sign on in August.

“New Zealand audiences are deeply engaged with politics,” TVNZ news and current affairs chief John Gillespie said in a statement.

“Viewers turned to TVNZ in record numbers during the 2017 elections and we’re seeing a continued interest in polls, political discussions and stories across our news and current affairs output this year.

“We’re pleased to announce these strong appointments to our press gallery and it will be great to see Q+A reach a primetime audience with its move to Sunday nights.”

TVNZ 1 is already preparing the Q+A transition with 9pm Sunday documentaries like this weekend’s Harold Shipman account, Doctor Death, and The Philpott Fire, which investigates the events leading up to May 2012 house fire that a British father set and which killed six of his children (May 27).

Given how Sunday dramas have struggled post-9.30 on TVNZ 1, the move makes both commercial and strategic sense.

It allows the network to take the higher moral ground over its rival, Three’s off-peak Newshub Nation, will earn it PR kudos amid the fledgling first term of a new, more public broadcasting-oriented broadcasting minister, and may give it leverage for increased NZ On Air funding.

Q+A previously was awarded up to $846,000 compared to Newshub Nation’s $917,000. Being able to argue your programme reaches more viewers and warrants a plum slot could stand TVNZ in good stead at the next funding round.

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

One Response to “New A+ Slot for Q+A”

  1. Nice move, TVNZ. I hope that the quality positioning persists regardless of how it rates. Local quality programming that engages the audience is where NZ broadcasters need to position to remain relevant.

Leave a Reply